Divided Society Archives Available

First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster and Julie Andrews, director of Linen Hall Library inspect the recently-opened
Northern Ireland Political Collection. (Photo: Allan Leonard)

By Mary Gallagher, Editorial Assistant
April / May 2018

In January the Linen Hall Library in Belfast launched a new digital archive dedicated to the Troubles. Founded in 1968, the institution has amassed over 350,000 primary sources and essays relating to the conflict in Northern Ireland, the largest collection of its kind. The archive, called Divided Society, covers the events from 1990-1998 that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement. The archive is expected to serve as an educational tool, facilitating an in-depth understanding of an essential era of Ireland’s storied past.

Library director Julie Andrews told the Irish News that the goal of collecting both primary sources and academic essays is to “give an accurate description” of the atmosphere of the period and what it was like to live through it.

Speaking with the BBC at the launch event, Andrews also said that the library chose to focus on the 1990s “because it was a peace and reconciliation period in Northern Ireland. Internationally, students are very interested in that, and for many years people have been coming to the library to study that period anyway.” The materials, she said, are unique in that they “give people completely different viewpoints, and then people can make up their own minds about situations.”

The archive contains hundreds of scholarly journals, original posters, and an audio-visual gallery that provides interviews and news reports from the time. Access to the archives is free to residents of Ireland and the U.K.; individuals applying for personal use elsewhere pay an annual fee of £300. Visit dividedsociety.org for more. ♦

Leave a Reply




Share



More Articles

Suffragette Sheehy
Skeffington Honored

On Thursday, June 13, 1912, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, and a group of suffragettes, smashed windows in Dublin Castle to...

More

An Old Henge Emerges
at Newgrange

While Ireland’s early summer heatwave brought some misery, it brought archaeologists and history enthusiasts great...

More

Weekly Comment: The Carrowkeel Cairns

The celebration of summer solstice on June 21, when the sun rises before 5 a.m. in the northern hemisphere, marks a...

More

Weekly Comment:
New York’s Monument to John Wolfe Ambrose is Restored

Stolen 30 years ago, New York City’s monument to the Irishman who enabled the Port of New York and New Jersey to...

More